The Daily Sprout

Your guide to healthier living.

It was a few weeks ago that a patient of mine asked me if I had written any Daily Sprouts about sleep.  I said, sure, I am positive I have.  And as we looked to find the information, it occurred to us that we had never written an article about sleep.  We may have mentioned it within articles, but never actually wrote one about sleep.

So I am going to correct that problem!  Indeed, sleep is one of the absolute most important components of health.  If we consider the Five Essentials to Health: Good Nutrition, Exercise, Detox (Clean Living), Peace, and Nervous System function; we can come to the conclusion that SLEEP effects the last two.  And I don’t need to prove that, it is an obvious fact to us that we are more relaxed and calm when we achieve greater sleep (just watch my three year old at 6pm if she skipped her nap that day).  Also, your nervous system is partially a result of your peace (low stress=better nervous system function), and partially a function of your spine.  So your rest has a significant impact on your nervous system.

You may have heard me comment about the health of my children.  In our practice we have about 1200 active children patients, and as I consider all of them, I really believe that my two kids have the greatest health.  Not because they were born healthier, but rather because the path for health has been a strict one for them.  That being said, we had ice cream cones yesterday!  But we are smart about what else happens on the same day, and when the next ice cream day will be.  And even though we enjoy some treats, my kids have never eaten at McDonald’s, and never will.  They eat vegetables at almost EVERY meal, and if not veges, then fruits.  And yes, they were adjusted the day they were born, and have been ever since.

But the thing that separates them from my other child patients (I have about two dozen who have the same lifestyle as what I posted above), is that their sleep has been protected as an absolute necessity.  And MAN does it show up in the immune system function.  My Five and a half year old who is in kindergarten, comes home (she is in a private school, so she only does a half day) and takes a nap.  She naps about 4 days a week, and we know it is PARAMOUNT in her health.  My selfish desire is to keep her awake on the days that I can be around her, in order to spend more time with her.  But I know our quality time together will go up significantly if I let her sleep and be healthier because of it.

So what research is out there to support sleep?  There have been longevity studies that show that individuals who sleep better, and get more sleep will live longer.  There have been specific illness studies comparing those who are battling cancer, HIV, and other diseases that might specifically prey on those with weaker immune systems, that show increased longevity and quality of life with increased sleep.

I am more interested in the studies that relate ongoing well defined sleep patterns with better overall lifestyle and mental health.  It has been shown that the circadian rhythm that comes from having a specific sleep pattern, improves well being, and reduces risk of depression, ADD, and other behavioral diagnoses.  Furthermore, it was found that by having this sleep rhythm follow the “normal” night and day cycles, that the reduction of those conditions was even greater.

So let me explain that in lay terms.  Your rhythm of melatonin (sleep inducer) to seratonin (mood elevator) is more stable if you go to bed, and wake at close to the same times everyday.  And that this rhythm goes a long way to insure your mental health is good.  And if those times also follow a path, where you are sleeping as the sun is setting, and waking as the sun is rising, you are even more immune to those behavioral conditions.

This is really good news for those who get to bed at the same time every night, and it is as the night is upon us… and really bad news for those who work at night and sleep in the day, and then a week later they have a swing shift that has them doing just the opposite.  You will see that the evidence of this has been increasing, so most companies who “swing shift” are keeping people locked in for longer periods of time, hoping to decrease their claims experience, and ultimately their cost of insurance, and total sick day exposure.

You may have seen the commercials for “Shift Work Disorder”, which are the name that the pharmaceutical companies have established for this condition, which then allows them to market a drug specifically for this condition.  Before the label, doctors needed to have off label prescriptions for these conditions, because they didn’t always add up to clinical depression.  But if you look at NUVIGIL you see that the disorder has many of the symptoms that occur in early depression.  So you end up with a drug that is really a Stimulant, that has been on the market for narcolepsy, but now has a whole new use!  The point is, it is a serious problem, but drugs aren’t an answer.  Why kill yourself with these side effects, if you could hunt hard for a new job (even if it took three to five years to switch, it would be worth it) and figure out how to get normal sleep!

So take your sleep seriously, it has the ability to make or break your life.  Oh yeah, it might take up to nine years for the damage that you are doing to yourself to catch up and become a symptom.  I know, I have tried to shortcut sleep on and off for my entire life, and I still do, but I am always brought back to the reality that there is no substitute!

Dr. E

The Total Food Makeover is a NEW take on 40 Day Challenges.  Add the Biggest Loser style BOOTCAMP, and your life will never be the same!  Keep looking for info, coming SOON!

Start Date – October 4th, Monday night at 7:00PM

OK, so last night after my workout (WOD – Workout Of the Day), I decided I should post some of my body-weight favorites here for the non CrossFit world to see, and HOPEFULLY attempt.

First, last week we did a great running WOD.

Run 20 seconds (as hard as you can) and rest 40 seconds.  Be sure to start back at the EXACT place that you stopped running your 20 seconds.  You do this for 15 minutes (which equals 5 minutes of total running).  Shoot for more than a mile, but if you only get half a mile, at least you have a target for the next time… slightly better.

You can incorporate squats, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, jumping, jumping rope, running, burpees, and more into body-weight workouts.  And once you know how to properly do these exercises, you really don’t need any equipment to maintain a measure of fitness much greater than most of our present time world has ever known.

OK, so this is meant to be an informational WOD, not an inspirational one, so let me get back to the details.  The intensity training phenomenon is not a new one.  For years, high level athletes have found themselves pushing their intensity higher and higher.  Further separating themselves from the masses who have dogmatically followed the approach to exercise that has said, slow… controlled… feel the burn… hold it and slowly release.  Which is so ridiculous I cannot believe i fell victim to this lifestyle for any amount of time, much less a bunch of years! 

Is there anything that you do in your life that you purposefully do slow, besides sleeping and driving when you are trying to impress your parents on your first week of your learner’s permit?  I mean come on!  If you are in training (which is what exercise is, it is training for your life, for any and every part of it), then what in the world are you training for when you are moving at anything less than maximum?

CrossFit has taught this well.  Maximized Living (the group of chiropractors that I am part of), have learned it too – though it took longer than I would have hoped – by incorporating what they simply term “burst” training.  The simple description is this: perform the set amount of work in the least amount of time; or perform as much work as possible, in a pre-determined amount of time.  The result in either case, is you working fast.

So here is an example if an easy workout, that you could use as a first step into this world.  In 5 minutes, do as many rounds of 5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, and 10 squats as possible.  This takes no equipment, it takes little technique training to start (the squat actually is technique rich, but you can get underway with not much more than “push your butt back, keep your knees behind your toes, attempt to have the crease of your hip below the top of your knee at the bottom, and your leg and hip completely straightened at the top”.

Do this little number, and if you are a relatively low activity person… you will hurt.  For awhile.  The cool thing is, you can stick with the same workout and get great advantage, or you can change things up in a hundred ways, and still get that advantage. 

Coaching is of ridiculous value, so in the end I recommend finding a CrossFit gym to coach you.  But if that is out of the question, you can still get a ton done with this list of exercises, on your own time and own terms.

There is no excuse to not be fit when the exercise takes 5 mins, and the well rounded needs are available in your own home.  See you on the side of fit.

Source:  The Garage Body-weight Exercise List

#crossfit #bootcamp #Georgia #woodstock #TheGarage #chiropractic #garagegym #garage #fitness #workout #exercise #woodstockchiropractor #chiropractor #healthsprout #gym

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